Intracranial MR angiography: comparison of single-volume three-dimensional time-of-flight and multiple overlapping thin slab acquisition techniques

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1994 Oct;163(4):915-20. doi: 10.2214/ajr.163.4.8092035.


Objective: Time-of-flight (TOF) MR angiography has continued to evolve during the past few years. Signal loss due to flow saturation is a major problem of single-volume (slab) three-dimensional (3D) TOF technique. A multislab 3D TOF method, multiple overlapping thin slab acquisition (MOTSA), shows decreased sensitivity to the effects of flow saturation and therefore should result in better images.

Subjects and methods: To evaluate the difference between MOTSA and the traditional single-volume 3D TOF techniques, we performed sequential, location-matched studies in 17 prospectively chosen patients with intracranial vascular abnormalities. All MOTSA and 3D TOF images were obtained after cut-film or 1024 digital angiography.

Results: According to specific criteria, abnormalities were better visualized with the MOTSA technique than with the single-volume 3D TOF technique. The difference was most marked in patients with more complex vascular abnormalities.

Conclusion: We conclude that MOTSA is better than single-volume 3D TOF for showing intracranial abnormalities. The major advantage of MOTSA is decreased sensitivity to flow saturation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / epidemiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity